SAN DIEGO–The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Thursday has filed a lawsuit against Burgers and Beer, a chain of Southern California restaurants, for allegedly violating federal law when it denied males with the same employment opportunities as their female counterparts.
The Commission contends that since at least 2015, male applicants and employees were disqualified from server positions based on sex. The company routinely rejected male applicants for those positions and maintained a server workforce that was over 90 percent female, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged.
Such action violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The Commission filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The Commission is seeking injunctive relief to prohibit Burgers and Beer from engaging in future unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for the victims.
“We encourage employers to examine their hiring practices to ensure their decisions comply with federal law,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County.
“Denying someone the chance to compete for a job simply because of their gender violates federal law – even if the employer presumes customers would prefer to be surrounded by female servers,” said Christopher Green, director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ‘s San Diego’s Local Office. “Presumed preferences are no excuse for any kind of discrimination. The EEOC will continue to pursue the eradication of this type of unlawful behavior.”
According to its website, www.burgersandbeer.com, the company has six casual dining locations, specializing in high-quality burgers, throughout California’s Imperial Valley.